Community Group Questions 6/2/13

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Announcements:

  • New Women’s Ministry Study
    • On June 12 our Women’s Ministry is starting a new 6-week study!
    • The study will be Wednesday nights from 7-9PM as we study "Jonah - Navigating a Life Interrupted" by Priscilla Shirer.
    • Study guides will be available for $15 each at the study.
    • If you have any further questions please write Women's Ministry on the back of your Connection Card.
  • The Most Amazing Thing You’ve Ever Heard Of...(Mystery Event)
    • Now, if you only hear me talk about 1 thing this morning, it’s going to be this next thing I am going to tell you about. If you only remember one thing from this morning, you’re going to want to remember this.
    • But it’s so awesome, so extraordinary, so far beyond everything else you’ll do this summer, I don’t know if I can tell you about it.
    • Actually, I can’t tell you about it. It’s too much. Too awesome.
    • All I can tell you is you need to mark your calendars for Saturday, June 29th. Go ahead, pull out your calendar right now, on your phone or in your purse, and mark that Saturday. Go ahead. Seriously. You need to mark it down.
    • I can’t even tell you how awesome it’s going to be. So...

Sermon Title: Worried = Proud, Distracted, and Vulnerable

Main Text: 1 Peter 5:6-11,James 4:7-8a, Matthew 6:25-34

Topics:

  • Peter begins by exhorting us to humility pointing out how pride is destructive.
  • Anxiety (a sin) is just a form of pride. It is trusting in our own ability to solve problems rather than in God’s Grace and provision for us
  • Christians are called to turn over our anxieties to God and trust him for the outcome - even if it is not the outcome we want. We have to trust that he will bring about justice in his own time.
  • The reassurance that God loves us should help us trust him to create an outcome that is in our best interests.
  • Focusing on the challenges in our lives leaves us open to the Devil’s attacks because we are not prepared for him. We need to focus on removing sin from our lives so the Devil can’t use it as a tool to ensnare us.
  • Tim Keller - The Devil is so dangerous because most people are either Superstitious or Substitious about Satan. Superstitious people are overly concerned with Satan and attribute everything to his presence. This is bad because we become too focused on what Satan is “doing”.
  • Substitious people underestimate Satan’s role in our world and therefore are ensnared before they realize what is happening.
  • Satan is like the Roaring Lion. First he tries to scare us by acting like he is bigger than he really is.
  • Alternatively, he creeps around in the bushes and he tries to throw us off the scent by acting like he is harmless until he gets the chance to pounce.
  • These verses depict Satan as a roaring lion which should be a pretty scary mental image.
  • We resist him by “standing firm in our faith” - James 4:7-8a
  • What we do know for sure is that God is much more powerful than Satan, so if we are aligned with him - which means working to remove sin from our life - it does not matter whether Satan is acting powerful or dead, we will have victory over him
  • Only God has power over Satan. No matter how good we get at worrying, we only make ourselves more susceptible to his attacks.
  • There is a promise in this passage that says that if we trust God and endure suffering, he will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” It says “will” not “might”
  • We have to rest in that promise that God “will” take care of us knowing that his definition of the outcome may differ from ours but will be in our best interest. Matthew 6:25-34
  • Our responsibility is to remain watchful and ready to fight Satan’s advances - to use our energy and resources for that instead of sinning through worry and anxiety.
  • The passage ends with a note of prayer which is the state we must remain in if we are going to successfully defeat worry and be vigilant for the Devil’s attacks.
  • Christians are to submit to God, wait for God’s time, AND fight off the Devil’s schemes relying on God’s strengthening and his peace.
  • In verse 5b, Peter points out that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. When we are proud, we are rejecting God’s Grace which is the only thing that can save us.
  • When people reject the Gospel, it is usually for one of two reasons:
    • 1. They believe it is outdated and unnecessary - “I am a pretty good person so God would not reject me”
    • 2. They believe it is too easy - “That is too simple to be true” or “I have been too bad for God to accept me”
  • Rejecting the Gospel is rejecting God’s Grace

Key Questions:

  1. What was the high of your week? What was the low of your week?
  2. What is the biggest worry in your life right now?
  3. How does your pride allow that worry to continue?
  4. Which rejection of the Gospel characterized your view? Too easy or too hard?
  5. If God is with us, why is it so easy to depend on our own strength and therefore spend time worrying instead of focusing on removing sin from our life?
  6. Are you more Superstitious or Substitious about the Devil?
  7. What are some ways that you can “stand firm in your faith?”
  8. Does the depiction of Satan as a roaring lion help you properly prepare for him?
  9. How hard is it to trust God knowing that his outcome may not be what we want?
  10. What are some ways that you can “remain watchful?”
  11. What role does prayer play in this entire idea?
  12. What will you do to change this habit in your life?

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